Not only is it First Kiss Friday but today we’re going to celebrate Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s new release, Live and Let Spy! Isn’t the cover just gorgeous? We hope you enjoy this excerpt and the first kiss scene! Happy reading, my lovelies!
He got as far as three yards away when Olivia Collins called out to him. “She’s not there, Mr. Hardacre. You won’t find her interred at Ponsnowyth.”
He span about. “What the hell?”
The profanity was out of his mouth before he could censor himself – too much time at sea and not enough time in drawing rooms – yet the woman in front of him did not seem disconcerted in the slightest. Rather, he saw in her the righteous anger of an avenging angel.
At that moment, Olivia Collins was beautiful.
“Her father, in his deference to his own reputation,” she continued, contempt clear in her voice, “refused to accept charge of her mortal remains. He also refused to let anyone else in the family aid her. There was an aunt, I believe, with whom Constance was close.”
The recollection of Squire Denton’s own grave marker in the church cemetery – the large and ornate marble headstone boasting his status to the world – lit the spark of Adam’s anger.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
He gave vent to a volcanic rise of fury. “That vicious old bastardcondemned his only daughter to a pauper’s grave?”
Tears sprang once more to the woman’s eyes.
Before he knew what he was about, Adam had advanced and has his arms around Olivia, holding her close as she wept into his chest. The force of her emotion, not his, touched something deep in his soul. A desire to protect, to comfort, reached in and took hold. For a moment, with the scent of honeysuckle in his nostrils and the gentle curves of a woman in his arms, Adam embraced, and accepted the embrace, of both Olivia Collins andConstance Denton.
When he closed his eyes, Constance’s face finally appeared before him as though only twenty minutes, not twenty years had passed. He rained kisses in her hair, grateful someone as wonderful and beautiful as she would ever give him the time of day, let alone her body. Having once touched her, he wanted – needed – that feeling again. He kissed her with increasing passion.
Adam tasted a protest on her lips at his last open-mouthed kiss.
He stopped and opened his eyes. The lips did not belong to Constance.
Olivia pulled out of his arms, eyes wide with alarm and hand across her mouth, her neatly pinned chignon in disarray with one long lock tumbling down her shoulder. And, in a split second before she had raised the hand to her mouth, he had seen her lips, full and red with the force of his. To his shame, Adam felt his body stir.
He took a few paces back to protect himself as well as her.
“That was unforgivable. Miss Collins, Olivia, I…” He tried to fashion the words for an apology. He had none.
“That was unforgivable,” he repeated. “I’m sorry…”
Here’s the blurb:
Refused his rightful promotion, Adam Hardacre quits the Royal Navy in disgust and is quickly approached with an intriguing proposition to serve his country undercover.
His first assignment takes him home to Cornwall to expose traitors plotting a French invasion of England. There, he meets newly unemployed governess, Olivia Collins, who has stumbled upon a hidden secret from Adam’s past – his youthful summer love affair with the local squire’s daughter. It is a tragic history that brings Adam and Olivia closer than is wise.
However, with the attraction deepening to something more, neither realize that Olivia unwittingly holds the key to his mission.
As Adam infiltrates the plot, Olivia finds out the shocking truth behind his lost love’s death many years ago, and both their lives are in danger. But their growing relationship is clouded by suspicion. Who can and cannot be trusted – anyone or no one?
Or… even each other?
Elizabeth Ellen Carter is an award-winning historical romance writer who pens richly detailed historical romantic adventures. A former newspaper journalist, Carter ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. The author lives in Australia with her husband and two cats.
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